Birmingham 2022: Richardson celebrates 21st in style as four more Three Lions guarantee a medal
August 4, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny
Gemma Richardson celebrated her 21st birthday by clinching a guaranteed bronze medal and a semi-final place at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as one of four England winners on the second day of quarter-finals.
She was joined in reaching the last four of respective weight divisions by Lewis Williams, Kiaran MacDonald and Delicious Orie, meaning eight of the 13 boxers competing at this stage have made it through.
Bowing out in the quarters and just missing out on a medal were Harris Akbar and Sameenah Toussaint, but not for lack of effort.
First to go for the Three Lions was Richardson at Under 60kg. She took on Isle of Man boxer Jade Burden, who reached the quarter-finals of the England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2022 in April before losing to eventual divisional winner Lucy Kings-Wheatley.
The Scunthorpe boxer got off to a quickfire started and quickly found her groove to land a succession of clean shots and combinations to take the opening round across the board.
Richardson continued to be in the ascendency in the second round and, midway through it, forced a standing eight count when two straight shots landed, and it was no surprise when her domination was reflected by four of the judges scoring it 10-8.
Celebrating her 21st birthday, the European Under-22 champion boxed sensibly in the third – while still being able to claim three 10-8 scorelines – to set up a semi-final bout with Jaismine Jaismine of India.
England’s second bout saw European champion Akbar paired with Tokyo 202o Olympic bronze medalist Aidan Walsh.
Walsh, who also took silver at the Commonwealth Games of 2018, boxed off the back foot, while Bradford Police’s Harris Akbar looked to be the aggressor in a cagey opening round, which the Northern Irishman edged 3-2.
It was the same story in the second round, with exactly the same outcome, with the same three judges favouring Walsh and the same two Akbar, leaving the Yorkshireman up against it.
And though Akbar did up the tempo in the closing round, he still lost it by the same 3-2 scoreline for an overall 3-2 split decision defeat.
There was no such problems for local boy Lewis Williams, from Leamington Spa, who stepped into the ring soon after to face Arthur Lavalou of Papua New Guinea at Under 92kg.
After finding his range, the Cleary’s boxer got through with a power punch, to the roars of the crowd, to force a standing eight count after just over a minute of the action.
And with Lavalou still groggy, Williams pounced to force the referee to intervene again, this time prompting the end of the contest.
After the bout, he was quick to salute the support of the crowd, before getting a hug from his coaches in the corner.
The evening session began well for England with MacDonald putting in an assured performance to see off the challenge of Botswana’s Otukile Mahommed.
The Sunderland ABC boxer started well and found his range quickly to win the first round unanimously and continued in the same vein in the second, using his slick footwork to land punches on the counter and from range.
The result was rarely in doubt and confirmed by a third clean sweep in the final round as MacDonald ran out a 30-27 victor across the board.
The Three Lions’ penultimate boxer of the day was Toussaint, but she could not emulate MacDonald’s feat as she found her experienced opponent Tina Rahimi of Australia too good for her on the day.
The Yeading boxer struggled to make her height advantage count as she was frequently beaten to the punch and outworked on the inside.
Her cause was not helped by the deduction of a point for continuous holding in the second round and the comeback the home crowd wanted was never on after that point, despite giving it everything until the final bell.
The final bout of the night featured hometown favourite Orie, who took on Trinidad and Tobago’s Nigel Paul at the top weight Over 92kg.
The Jewellery Quarter boxer used his superior speed and manoeuvrability to good effect in the opening round, winning it unanimously.
Jabbing incessantly, Orie continued to hold the ascendency in the second round, occasionally connecting with power punches for good measure to again clinch 10-9s all round.
All that was stopping the Midlander from advancing in the third was suffering a knockout blow, but he kept well out of harm’s way and even threaten to inflict one himself in the latter stages to complete the full set of unanimous round wins.
All images by Andy Chubb (@SheffieldSport)
Day nine Team England semi-final bouts
Women’s Under 48kg – Lethabo Modukanele (Botswana) v Demi-Jade Resztan (England), bout 2, approx. 10.45am.
Men’s Under 51kg – Jake Dodd (Wales) v Kiaran MacDonald (England), bout 4, approx 11.15am.
Men’s Under 75kg – Lewis Richardson (England) v Sam Hickey (Scotland), bout 7, approx. 12noon.
Men’s Under 80kg – Aaron Bowen (England) v Taylor Bevan (Wales), bout 10, approx 12.45pm.
Women’s Under 50kg – Savannah Stubley (England) v Zareen Nikhat (India), bout 2, approx. 2.45pm.
Women’s Under 60kg – Gemma Richardson (England) v Jaismine Jaismine (India), bout 5, approx. 3.30pm.
Men’s Under 92kg – Lewis Williams (England) v Edgardo Coumi (Australia), bout 11, approx. 5pm.
Men’s Over 92kg – Leuila Mau’u (New Zealand) v Delicious Orie (England), bout 10, approx. 9.15pm.
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